Tuesday, June 19, 2018

An Amazing Free Alternative to Chimney Rock



If you frequently read our blog posts,  you may recall a recent entry entitled “8 Tranquil Spots not to Miss in North Carolina”.   This post featured some amazing outdoor experiences in and around the Asheville area.   On this same trip, we made a startling new discovery while pondering whether or not to visit the more touristy Chimney Rock attraction, known to so many.  It is no secret that our Frugal Family Travelers often get excited when we find a new place “off the beaten path”.  So, it was ultimately a pretty easy decision in the end to visit this spot! 

“Jump Off Rock” in Laurel Falls, NC became the target of our next adventure!  We drove up steep winding roads roads,  through the beautiful Laurel Falls neighborhood and ultimately made it to the top of the mountain with ease.   We parked the car and were pleasantly surprised to learn that the overlook was just a short distance away. 

At 3,025 ft., the panoramic views from “Jump Off Rock” are truly some of the best you will find while traveling the Blue Ridge Parkway.   Not only did we soak up the views but enjoyed a nice picnic lunch while trying to keep the blanket from sailing away from frequent gusts of wind.  After our picnic, we explored the three hiking trails available.  The trails were clearly marked and the signage explained the approximate hike times and difficulty ratings.  The trails  were also well maintained with diverse features which provided opportunities for discovery.  Overall, our experience here was one we will never forget.   Standing on “Jump Off Rock” to behold the beautiful mountain scenery, while at the same  time experiening the wind on our faces, was an experience that mere words can not adequately express.  So, if you find yourself in this area, add it to your travel itinerary.   You won’t be disappointed!  


Cost: Free

Note: Pack a pick basket and blanket!  Be prepared to enjoy the breeze and the amazing panoramic views!  The ease of access would make this an excellent point of interest for those traveling with small children as well as those with limited mobility. 



























Disclaimer:
All content provided on Frugal Family Travelers blog is for informational purposes only. The owners of this blog make no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site.  The owners of Frugal Family Travelers blog do not share personal information with third-parties and are not responsible for the republishing of the content found on this blog on other Web sites or media without permission.  As with all travel, operating days, times, costs, etc., should be verified prior to departure.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Take a Walk on the Wild Side!



Recently, our Frugal Family Travelers did a little exploring on the Northshore just outside of  New Orleans.    We discovered the Southeast Louisiana National Wildlife Headquarters.  Positioned on the bayou in Lacombe, Louisiana, the headquarters is located on the grounds of a former Catholic Retreat Center.    We spent our morning exploring the hiking trails and discovered many picturesque views of the bayou, as well as numerous fountains and springs.   The grounds were teeming with wildlife of all kinds.  Azalea and Camellia are abundant on the property and would therefore make this a great a place to visit again while in bloom.  The headquarters also has a wildlife museum with all sorts of interactive exhibits and videos which showcase the diverse ecosystem of the refuge.     It is no surprise why this place was chosen as the headquarters for the refuge.  Sadly, Frugal Family Travelers find that many of these types of places are underutilized by the public, who seem to be seeking more fast paced activities.   “Take a Walk in the Wild Side” and plan a visit here!   You won’t be sorry!


Directions:

61389 LA-434, Lacombe, LA 70445


Cost:   Free


Note:   Pack bug spray and sunscreen!   Don't forget pack a picnic lunch!   This is a great place for a picnic!  

Combine this with other hiking opportunities, just a short drive away, to creat a full day of adventure.... click link below for details:

Big Branch Marsh Hiking























Disclaimer:
All content provided on Frugal Family Travelers blog is for informational purposes only. The owners of this blog make no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site.  The owners of Frugal Family Travelers blog do not share personal information with third-parties and are not responsible for the republishing of the content found on this blog on other Web sites or media without permission.  As with all travel, operating days, times, costs, etc., should be verified prior to departure.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Sequoia Trees in MS?




The Mississippi Petrified Forest is a natural wonder which contains ancient trees, including Sequoia!  Many of these petrified trees are estimated to be at least a thousand years old at the time a massive flood deposited the log jam in the current location.   Years of subsequent flooding and silt deposits covered what would become the petrified logs visitors see today!   The process of erosion first exposed these logs in the 1800's.   However, it was not until 1962 that real conservation efforts began when R. J. "Bob" and Shirl Schabilion purchased the forest.  They realized that this Mississippi treasure needed to be preserved for future generation and their conservation efforts created what is seen today in the park.   . 

Our Frugal Family Travelers had heard of the Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona but were quite surprised to learn of the existence of this petrified forest in Mississippi, just outside of Jackson. Upon discovery, we started planning our trip, which took place over Spring Break. We wanted to tent camp and were pleasantly surprised to learn that the forest had a small campground suitable for RVs and tent campers alike.   Upon arrival we found the welcome center, where we were able to pay for our campsite and purchase tour tickets.    One of the neatest parts of our camping adventure was the boxcar adjacent to our camp.    We felt like we were truly in a scene right out of the "Boxcar Children" book series.     Those who have visited Chimney Rock and Ruby Falls will likely be at home in this setting, as it has a very similar feel.    If gem mining is something you and your Frugal Family Travelers enjoy, there is a station set up for this!   There is also a neat museum with a collection of fossils.   There is a lot to discover, especially if you like science!  The pictures below will tell more of the story.......enjoy!



Directions:

124 Forest Park Rd, Flora, MS 39071


Cost: 

$7 Adults; $6 Seniors and kids under 12 years of age

Camping:

$22 for full service hook up
$12 for primitive camp sites

Note:   Pack bug spray and sunscreen! 























Disclaimer:
All content provided on Frugal Family Travelers blog is for informational purposes only. The owners of this blog make no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site.  The owners of Frugal Family Travelers blog do not share personal information with third-parties and are not responsible for the republishing of the content found on this blog on other Web sites or media without permission.  As with all travel, operating days, times, costs, etc., should be verified prior to departure.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Unexpected places on the Northshore for a Kayaking Adventure

It is no secret that natural beauty abounds across the lake from New Orleans on the Northshore!  From the many parks, trails, Tammany Trace, St. Tammany Fishing Pier and particularly Camp Salmen Nature Park, there is no shortage of places for outdoor enthusiasts.  However, many people forget or  do not realize that there are some great spots for water exploration via a kayak or canoe! Whether you own your own kayak/canoe or choose to rent one,  a day of fun on the water can be created for your Frugal Family Travelers by exploring some of the locations listed below.  

Note: Check with the rental companies for rates and water access points.   Rental companies may not provide transportation to all of the areas indicated below.  

1.  Bayou Liberty

If you are a frequent reader of our blog posts, you already know that our Frugal Family Travelers love Camp Salmen.   However, we recently discovered a bayou access point for kayaks and canoes, directly across from the playground area and are now even more thrilled to have this amazing place available to visit!    Also, the parking lot is adjacent to the launch, which makes it and easy place to launch a kayak.   Pack a lunch and plan to explore the park after your float trip.  

Directions:   Camp Salmen












2.  Bayou Cane 

For those who remember the local chef Justin Wilson and his Cajun cooking shows, keep him in mind, while you float the Cane Bayou.    His 8,000 sq. ft. home can be viewed through the trees a short paddle down the bayou on the left from the boat launch.    Also, this float will take you all the way to Lake Pontchartrain.   

Directions:   









Click for details regarding Kayak rentals!


3.  Bayou Bonfouca

Access this area at Heritage Park in Slidell.  This boat launch is suitable for motorized boats as well as kayakers and canoes.  If you have kids, this park has a great splash area for cooling off after you canoe or kayak.  Call the Bait Shop in Slidell to see about canoe/kayak rentals! 












4. Bayou Lacombe

At the the end of Main Street in Lacombe, LA is a great boat launch, suitable for both large boats, canoes and kayaks.  

Directions:  







Sunday, February 18, 2018

8 Tranquil Spots Not to Miss in North Carolina



Our Frugal Family Travelers have explored the mountains of Tennessee numerous times on previous trips!   However, on a recent excursion, we decided it was time to explore North Carolina!  The trip did not disappoint, mostly because it was devoid of the commercialism often found in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.  Don’t get me wrong, we love these areas, but this new location offered the tranquil atmosphere we were seeking on this trip.  So, if you and your Frugal Family Travelers enjoy hiking and also soaking up the tranquility to be had at waterfalls, then add some of these North Carolina spots to your next vacation itinerary.    The best part is that these waterfalls are all in the same general area of Asheville, NC and therefore, can be easily combined with other local activities, including the Biltmore.  


Pearson’s Falls 


This beautiful waterfall is located in the foothills of the blue ridge mountains and is privately owned and maintained by the Tryon Garden Club.  The waterfall is a short hike from the parking area and is great for those traveling with small children or those with limited mobility.  


Cost$5 Adults; $1 Children


TipsPack bug spray


NoteBathroom facility on site. 


Directions

Pearson’s Falls 2748 Pearson Falls Road Saluda, NC 28773







———————


Catawba Falls


At approximately 100 ft high, Catawba is certainly worth the 3 mile round trip hike.   This best part is it is only 26 miles from Asheville! 


CostFree


TipsPack bug spray


NoteBathroom facility on site. 


Directions

Catawba Falls 3074 Catawba River Rd, Old Fort, NC 28762







Pictured below is Andrew’s Geyser.  This is a great picnic spot and is not far from Catawba Falls!  




——————


Linville Falls 


The falls plunges into the Linville Gorge which makes for a spectacular view!   The trail leading to the falls is 1.6 miles round trip and is easy for families as well as those with limited mobility.  






CostFree


Tips: Pack bug spray


Note: A bathroom facility is located up the road from the trailhead at the information cabin  


Directions:

Click here for direction


————————


High, Triple, Hooker Falls


These beautiful waterfalls are located in DuPont State Forest.  The best part is that all three are accessible from the same trail.   


(Above: High Falls) 



(Above: Tripple Falls)



(Above: Hooker Falls)


(Above: Covered Bridge Above High Falls)


Cost: Optional Donation


Tips: Pack bug spray


Note: Bathroom available at information center. 


Directions

Dupont State Forest 1300 Staton Road, Cedar Mountain, NC 28718


——————


Looking glass Falls and Sliding Rock


Both waterfalls are located in the Pisgah National Forest and are down the road from one another.   Both waterfalls are perfect spots for families with small children and those with limited mobility as there is no hike required.   However,  the waterfall may be viewed its base by hiking down a short set of steps.    


(Above: Looking Glass Falls)


(Above: Sliding Rock)


Cost: Free; Sliding Rock charges in the summer! 


Tips: Pack bug spray


Note: Bathroom facility is open seasonally at Sliding Rock.  In the summer pack a bathing suit to slide down Sliding Rock! 


Directions

Click here for directions


Disclaimer:
All content provided on Frugal Family Travelers blog is for informational purposes only. The owners of this blog make no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site.  The owners of Frugal Family Travelers blog do not share personal information with third-parties and are not responsible for the republishing of the content found on this blog on other Web sites or media without permission.  As with all travel, operating days, times, costs, etc., should be verified prior to departure.

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